nl en

Economics: East Asia


Admission requirements

This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies.
Limited places are also open for exchange students.
Please note: this course takes place in The Hague. Traveling from Leiden to The Hague takes about 45 minutes.


The East Asian economy is one of the most dynamic and fast-growing regional economies in the world. Due to the export-led economic development in Japan and Korea in the post-war era and in China since the 1978 reforms, the East Asian economy has become greatly connected to other regions of the world. Today, political and economic changes in East Asian countries can largely shake the international economic system.
Economic developments in the East Asian countries have experienced various stages. Initially Japan’s economic miracle and especially the successful developmental state model gave rise to the regional economic growth. Under the influence of Japan, as well as its own outward-looking economic strategy in the 1960s, South Korea started rapid industrialization and strong growth for the next three decades. However, the burst of Japanese asset price bubble in the early 1990s and the disastrous Asian financial crisis in 1997 (which specifically affected South Korea among all the East Asian countries) severely retarded the growth in the region. On the other hand, China has adopted a series of economic and political reforms since 1978, which gradually drove its economy toward a market-oriented regime. China has increasingly strengthened trade and investment links with other East Asian countries; and its continuous economic growth has become a powerful engine of the regional development. As a result, China became an important regional power not only in the east but also the whole Asian region. However, the domestic problems in China such as regional inequality, environmental degradation, and corruption have increasingly threatened China’s economic strength.
How to maintain the economic dynamism and stability in the East Asian region –especially in the post global financial crisis era- has become an increasingly important topic among academics, policy makers and business people. In order to solve a question like this, we need to scrutinize carefully the economic policymaking, institutional development and regional cooperation mechanisms in East Asia. This course introduces students to the economic development in East Asia in the post-war era, and prepares students for critical thinking and analysis of issues related to economic development model(s), financial policies, industrialization processes, employment system and labour issues, environmental problems, and regional economic integration in East Asia.

Course objectives

Students have:

  • Acquired an overview of the historical and contemporary economic developments and political economy dynamics in their chosen area and deepen their existing knowledge and understanding of different economic systems, economic institutions, economic processes and actors in the different regions/countries of the region, using the concepts acquired during the courses Economics and Configuring the World.

  • Been acquainted with academic debates on selected topics in the specific region.


The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website.

Mode of instruction


Lectures are held every week, with the exception of the midterm exam week. Weekly lectures will cover issues both inside and outside the readings.


Tutorials are held once every three weeks, with the exception of the midterm exam week. Attending all tutorial sessions is compulsory. If you are unable to attend a session, please inform your tutor in advance, providing a valid reason for your absence. Being absent without notification and valid reason or not being present at half or more of the tutorial sessions will mean your assignments will not be assessed, and result in a 1.0 for the tutorial (30% of the final grade).

Course Load

Total course load for this course is 5 EC (1 EC = 28 hours), this equals 140 hours, broken down by:

  • Attending lectures: 24 hours

  • Attending tutorials: 8 hours

  • Assessment hours (midterm and final exam): 4 hours

  • Study of compulsory literature: (approximately 7 pages per hour): 36 hours

  • Time for completing assignments, preparing classes and exams: 68 hours

Assessment method


  • Midterm exam: Written examination with closed questions (multiple choice) and short open questions.

  • Final exam: Written examination with short open questions.


Partial grade Weighing
Tutorials 30%
Midterm Exam 30%
Final Exam 40%

End grade

To successfully complete the course, please take note of the following:

  • The end grade of the course is established by determining the weighted average of tutorial, midterm exam and final exam.

  • The weighted average of the midterm exam and final exam needs to be 5.5 or higher.


If the end grade is insufficient (lower than a 6), or the weighted average of midterm- and final exams is lower than 5.5, there is a possibility of retaking the full 70% of the exam material, replacing both the earlier midterm and final exam grades. No resit for the tutorial is possible.
Please note that if the resit exam grade is lower than 5.5, you will not pass the course, regardless of the tutorial grade.

Retaking a passing grade

Please consult the Course and Examination Regulations 2017 – 2018.

Exam review

How and when an exam review takes place will be determined by the examiner. This review will be within 30 days after official publication of exam results.


Blackboard will be used for tutorial groups. Students are requested to enroll on Blackboard for this course, but only after correct enrolment in uSis.

Reading list

  • Beeson, M. (2014) Regionalism and Globalization in East Asia: Politics, Security and Economic Development, 2nd edition (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan).

  • Boyer, R., Uemura, H. and Isogai, A. (2012) Diversity and Transformations of Asian Capitalism (Oxon: Routledge). Ebook available.

  • Chung, Y. (2007) South Korea in the Fast Lane: Economic Development and Capital Formation (Oxford: Oxford University Press).

  • Dent, C. (2016) East Asian Regionalism, 2nd edition, (London, New York: Routledge)

  • Flath, D. (2014) The Japanese Economy, Oxford University Press, third edition. Ebook available.

  • Naughton, B. (2007), The Chinese Economy: Transition and Growth (London: The MIT Press)

  • Naughton, B. and Tsai, K. S. (2015) (ed.) State Capitalism, Insititutional Adaptation, and the Chinese Miracle (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Ebook available.

  • Walter, A. and Zhang, X. (2012) East Asian capitalism: Diversity, change, and continuity. Ed. Andrew Walter and Xiaoke Zhang (Oxford: Oxford University Press). Ebook available.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis can be found here.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


For tutorials
Dr. J. Wang
Dr. S. Shibata

When contacting lecturers or tutors, please include your full name, student number and tutorial group number.